Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Matching Kid Quilts

I made this quilt and the one below for the children of one of the young ladies who worked for me at the preschool. This one was so much fun to do! I always keep a full stash of fun and bright kid fabric because kid's quilts are my favorite style to design and create!

This is actually one of my own designs. The blocks each have a construction vehicle inside, and I did a "Wako Log Cabin" to frame them out, which worked nicely because each different car was a different sized block, so standard log cabin wouldn't have left me with equally sized blocks. From start to finish, this one took me about a week after work of course:)!

This next quilt was done for his sister. Their mom wanted two quilts that matched, but still reflected the differences in their personalities. Kenzie is a true-blue princess, so when I found the ballerina and princess fabric, I knew it was perfect.

This quilt was actually a little more difficult that the one above, because I had to fussy cut the little ladies at an angle, and I couldn't find a border fabric to frame them in that I I had to make one (the pink and green pieces were sewn to the purple stripe as a block, then cut in half to form the triangles that framed the ladies).

My inspiration for the blocks in this one came from the 2005 issue of Quilt It for Kids magazine...a must have if you love to make kids quilts!

Both quilts were machine pieced and machine free-motion quilted. I quilted some cars around Aidan's and hearts and flowers around Kenzie's quilt.

By the way, if you are ever in the market for a great book on how to free motion quilt, I would highly recommend Show Me How to Machine Quilt by Kathy Sandbach. She gives some excellent pointers, but the best resource is hidden in the back, she gives TONS of patterns for free motion quilting.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Special Quilt and Diaper Bag

Well, I though that it was about time to show you some of the other quilts that I have finished this year. I really love quilting, I have ever since my great-aunt Orlene gave me the makings of my first quilt ever. She got me started, and I admit, I didn't follow first. Then, when my gramma Pauline went to be with the Lord, she left me a TON of fabric scraps. I pull from that fabric for special occasions and for very special people.
The quilt on the right was made for my cousin Crystal for her pending baby girl. Crystal was very close to gramma Pauline, so I raided the stash, of course. The green fabric in the quilt is from gramma's stash, the pink binding and backing from my great gal friend Kelli, and, believe it or not, the rest came from mine! The pattern is my version of a "Walk in the Garden". The result was quite lovely. The coordinated diaper bag uses the same fabrics, and was a great project for me because I haven't sewn anything but quilts for a very long time!
The pattern for the diaper bag came from You do have to register, but they don't spam you to death...a lot of you ladies who have time to sew and are looking for a good variety of vintage sewing ideas may find some neat things there to try. Patterns aren't restricted to quilting, they also have sewing, crocheting, knitting, and more!
I plan on posting some other quilts I have finished later this week, and will give a preview of an upcoming project I hope to begin by Friday.

What Type of Muppet Am I??

You Are Dr. Bunsen Honeydew

You take the title "mad scientist" to the extreme -with very scary things coming out of your lab.
And you've invented some pretty cool things, from a banana sharpener to a robot politician.
But while you're busy turning gold into cottage cheese, you need to watch out for poor little Beaker!
"Oh, that's very naughty, Beaker! Now you eat these paper clips this minute."
My thoughts on the results? Yeah, well, I am always up to something, and when you are in charge of a preschool, you do need to get inventive from time to time to solve some of those creative problems I'm sure we can use some ice and baby oil to get your dolly's toe out of the bathroom sink, dear, but how did you manage to get her head stuck in the faucet while it was turned on??.
But boy, do i need to get back in the gym!! What a terrible figure!:) LOL

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Welcome Home Greta!

On Friday, May 26th our family welcomed home our newest addition. Her name is Greta, and she is a beautiful pure-bred Golden Retriever. She is 8 weeks old this week, and we are so glad to have her home with us.
She is timid, but very sweet. She loves to chase DD around the yard and house, much to his squealing delight, but she doesn't jump up on him or try to play bite.
Her first day home went really well. We are crate-training her, so right now she sleeps in her crate in our bedroom. I honestly expected a lot of crying and wailing the first night, but Mr. W only had to tap her crate once or twice, and she stopped. She is a good dog :)! She sleeps all day, it seems ~ typical baby:). It is kinda cute watching her get used to her new home. At times she is dashing around, willy nilly... the next minute she doesn't trust her food bowl, and casts nervous glances at the front door LOL!
After scowering the internet, asking friends, and reading books about the nuances of being a "Big Dog" owner, I wonder if we are going to do things right. I grew up with a dog, so I am not totally naive to the ways of the canine (LOL), but my Muffy was a small Peek-a-Poo, so at her biggest she was the size that Greta is now as a puppy!! It is kinda like when you have your first kid, there is a lot of advice, and even if you feel prepared...things get thrown at you that lead to questions that only the Holy Spirit can answer! But God is faithful, and His word says that when we ask for wisdom, He will grant it liberally!
Besides, Mr. W and I prayed, and really though long and hard about bringing this little lady home because I work a lot, Mr. is getting ready to roll into his busy season, and we were concerned that we didn't have the time. But we have peace about it, and DD ADORES her!
Here is a picture of her and DD, believe it or not they both sat still long enough to get a picture of them!!
I wish I had time to post more, but I had a baby shower cake due this morning, and with Greta coming home I am pooped! God Bless and good night!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Novelist ~ A GREAT Book!

I wanted to take a minute to introduce you to one of my newly-found, but now favorite authors, Angela Hunt.

I am a frequent patron of our local library, and I am always on the hunt for some really good Christian Fiction.

I first discovered her novel The Awakening. I really enjoyed it, and became absolutely hooked by The Novelist.

From Publisher's Weekly
"Jordan Casey is the pen name for Jordan Casey Kerrigan, grandmother and author of a bestselling adventure series. She agrees to teach a college night class on writing fiction and is challenged by an irksome student to ditch her formulaic approach and try writing something from the heart. Stung by the criticism, Kerrigan turns down a lucrative contract for another adventure novel and writes an allegory of paradise, sin, the fall and redemption as played out in an otherworldly casino. As she writes, her desire to change her 21-year-old son Zachary's chaotic life as a suicidal addict becomes an impetus for a story she wants to communicate about life, loss and second chances (told alongside mother and son's actual plight). God, she believes, is the ultimate writer, complete with an outline for one's life story—yet even the characters in the hands of a novelist have choices. Jordan's reality and fiction alternate and finally converge as Hunt spins her tale, with flashbacks to Zachary's innocent childhood that are guaranteed to wring tears from even the hardest-hearted reader."

If you love Christian Fiction, and enjoy a great story, then I would highly recommend this book. In fact, I recently purchased this at Barnes and Noble for one of my best friends. she is a reluctant reader, but after giving her an overview, she was dying to read it.

By the way, Angela Hunt has a blog on blogspot (hyperlink via her name above), and her Blog is really a great read. She recently has some great comments on the DaVinci Code novel.

I just finished reading The Canopy last night (it is about a month overdue ~ gasp!) and I would recommend it as well. Let me know if you like them! I would love to know of other fans out there!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Comfort of Psalms Quilt

Ok, here is my latest, and I have to admit, one of my now favorite quilts.

It is from a pattern called "The Comfort of Psalms", and I ordered the pattern and psalms fabric as a kit from a local quilt shop called
Trinity Schoolhouse Quilt Shop.

I made it in about 35 hours (3 days), and was able to use fabrics from my stash - the only fabric I had to purchase was the psalms and they came with the kit!
I like this one, especially the way the colors balanced out, because the gal I made it for loves pink!!

This quilt is for one of my employees who is moving next week. At her Aloha party tomorrow, the guests will be given fabric pens to write their own special wishes on the back of the quilt. I used a white on white floral pattern on the back - still pretty, but the writing will be easy to see and read.

I plan on using this pattern again! In fact, this pattern is now in my "favorites" pile for a couple of reasons:

  1. It was FAST! This one is a quilt as you go, folks, meaning that your work time is literally cut in half! If you know your way around a rotary cutter, and can strip piece on your machine, then, like me, it would only take you a weekend (approximately 3-4 hours for 3 days) to complete this one. And what a great finished look! Unlike a lot of weekend patterns, this one looks way more complicated than it is.
  2. The directions are EASY! Even for a novice, these directions use layman's terms so that anyone can easily follow them. There are lots of pictures, and the rows are clearly labelled.
  3. It has the beautiful Psalms on it! Need I say more?
The pattern can actually be purchased as part of a kit from Trinity, including not only the pattern, but also the fat quarter panel with the psalms handwritten on it. The one at the right reads

"The heavens delcare the glory of God. The firmament shows His handiwork" Psalm 19

The coolest part is that no matter where you live, Trinity can ship the pattern or kit directly to you! They even put fabric bundle kits online so you can pick out the rest of the fabric needed for the kit from them as well!

Well, I know that if my friend becomes lonely after her move, she will cuddle up with this quilt, reading the comforting words of the Lord on the front, and the dear wishes of her friends on the back, and she will smile. And that is what quilting is all about!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

And So It Begins....

Hey there folks! This is me, Mrs. Mandy, and my little guy...DD. I have finally given in to the temptation and have officially begun my blog. I am a little intimidated by the process, although after using Geocities in the past, have some confidence that I will prevail!!

For those who do not know me, My name is Mandy Wenger, and I live in Bedford, Virginia, right at the feet of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. My husband and I live in a newly built home in a small neighborhood (yup! on a gravel road! no trash pick up, no cable or high speed internet GASP! but lots of stars and plenty of space) with our one son, Darrin, and our 5 year old cat named Steve.

I am proud to be a small town gal who managed to grow up, attend college, get married, and live all within about 50 miles of where I was born! I was raised by two loving, Christian parents and came to know my Savior, Jesus Christ, at the early age of 5. Thanks to my God's loving grace, and my parents prayers and guidance, I have had a close walk with the Lord for as long as I can remember. I am a former public school teacher (5th grade and Kindergarten), and am currently the head administrator for a small, non-profit preschool run by my church.

What do I wish to accomplish with this blog? I'm not entirely sure, but as a full time mother, day care administrator, church secretary, quilter, gardener, and all around busy gal, I hope that this blog will allow me to keep all my friends and family abreast with the what is happening in our family.

I would also love to hear from some other working moms out there who, like me, live in the daily ballet of balancing our jobs, family, home, and hobbies.

I plan on posting my quilts as I complete them. Quilting is a favorite hobby of mine, and I love to share ideas, swap fabrics, share great finds, and discuss ideas.

I live by the verse, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!".

I hope to be able to post more soon, but until then:

May the sun rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
The sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Disclaimer: The woman behind this blog is not perfect. She will make mistakes. She will not post something every day. She WILL mention God in her blog.